Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Top Ten Internet Safety Tips for Children

Folks, I was not going to post an article today, but a comment left by a reader prompted a realization that it has been a long time since I have written about children, safety, and the Internet.

I have written on this subject before, and have a page dedicated to the topic; and so today I am simply reposting a most excellent list found in the “resources for parents” pages on the website of the makers of the excellent Net Nanny software.

I do not recommend “for pay” software here on Tech – for Everyone, but I long ago made an exception for Net Nanny. If you are a parent, I hope that you will click the links above and visit the site and look around. I sincerely thank the good folks there for publishing this list.

Top Ten Internet Safety Tips

1. First educate yourself, then your child.
Banning a child from certain sites may only motivate them to spend more time on them, whereas educating your child on how to keep safe will give them the tools they need to navigate their online world without being hurt; from not posting personal information to a site to understanding that people they are talking to may not actually be who they are. If the parents know the dangers themselves, this sets an example to the child to understand them as well.

2. Teach children the obvious identity rules.
Tell your children NOT to put photos of themselves on the Internet or to give out their names, addresses, phone numbers, schools, or other personal information online.

3. Install an Internet filter or family safety software.
Family safety software is becoming extremely advanced and an effective way to filter dangerous content. Additionally, this software usually comes with tools like time management, remote monitoring and reporting, and keystroke recognition, giving families greater peace of mind and manageability.

4. Know the dangers associated with sites your children frequent.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Whether it’s MySpace, Facebook or another social networking site, by knowing what people are doing on your children’s favorite sites that could put them in harm’s way, parents can educate their children and show them the warning signs of potentially dangerous situations.

5. Teach children what to do if they encounter pornography on a home or public computer, such as at a school or a library.
In a similar fashion to the fire warning of “stop, drop and roll,” you can teach children to quickly turn off power to the computer monitor and go to get an adult. This can prevent a child from attempting to stop the situation by clicking more buttons (and thereby spreading the attack and being exposed to more porn).

6. Manage your children’s time on the Internet.
Scheduling times when a child can be on the Internet and the amount they can be online ensures that you know when they are on the Internet and how long. By not allowing them to have free reign reduces their chances of being exposed to inappropriate content.
(If you have a router, you can use it to set times. Please see Protecting your network–use your router for access control (repost))

7. Set specific Internet guidelines for your children to live by and consistently enforce consequences, if they are not being followed.
Giving your children specific guidelines to follow will ensure they know where they stand when it comes to how they use the Internet as well as the consequences when they breach the rules. If a parent enforces consequences consistently, their children will be more likely to follow the rules.

8. Keep computers out of children’s bedrooms and in open areas.
With PCs in the open, children will be less inclined to view and access material that may not be acceptable.

9. Create a relationship with your children that is conducive to open communication.
Open communication and trust is extremely valuable. By letting children know what is expected from them and that their safety is a top priority, they will feel that if something happens –whether they are approached by a cyber stranger or bully or receive an inappropriate e-mail – they can approach a parent to resolve the issue without feeling they are in trouble.

10. Understand Internet Privacy Policies as they apply to your child.
According to the FTC (http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/privacyinitiatives/childrens.html), parents should be aware of the following as it pertains to protecting their childrens’ privacy on the web:

What Parents Should Do:
Look for a privacy policy on any website directed to children.

The policy must be available through a link on the website’s homepage and at each area where personal information is collected from kids. Websites for general audiences that have a children’s section must post the notice on the homepages of the section for kids.

Read the policy closely to learn the kinds of personal information being collected, how it will be used, and whether it will be passed on to third parties. If you find a website that doesn’t post basic protections for children’s personal information, ask for details about their information collection practices.

Decide whether to give consent.

Giving consent authorizes the website to collect personal information from your child. You can give consent and still say no to having your child’s information passed along to a third party. Your consent isn’t necessary if the website is collecting your child’s email address simply to respond to a one-time request for information.

Again, I thank the good folks at Net Nanny.

Today’s free link: For more tips and top-notch advice on this most important topic:
How to Protect Your Child on the Internet

Where Does Your Child Go On The Internet?

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June 21, 2009 - Posted by | computers, Internet, kids and the Internet, security, tech | , , , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. […] Tech-for Everyone Top Ten Internet Safety Tips for Children […]

    Like

    Pingback by Geek Squeaks of the Week (#16) « What’s On My PC | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  2. Thanks for the tips. Good stuff.

    Have you seen some of the research being put out by the Berkman Center. Very informative.

    http://www.covenanteyes.com/blog/2009/02/20/online-sexual-predators-%e2%80%93-questioning-common-assumptions/

    Like

    Comment by Luke Gilkerson | June 30, 2009 | Reply

    • Mr. Gilkerson,
      Since you’re article contains some very good information for parents, I am going to break my policy allow this comment.
      (I normally block self-promoting links.)

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | June 30, 2009 | Reply

  3. I work for a child abuse prevention center and would like to use your tips in a upcoming newsletter. Would this be ok?

    Like

    Comment by Sara | January 26, 2010 | Reply

    • Sara,
      This article is only one I ever published which is basically an exact cut & paste. Therefore, I cannot give you permission (so to speak) as it is not mine to give. The original is located in the excellent NetNanny Learning Center, where I am sure you can find more for your newsletter.. http://www.netnanny.com/learn_center/safety_tips

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | January 26, 2010 | Reply


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